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Four-Pointer: Previewing Golden State

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The Warriors look for some payback against Dallas, as the Mavs try to bounce back from an ugly loss to Sacramento.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

What has Golden State done lately?

The Warriors started the season 8-3 and seemed poised to build on last season's breakthrough campaign.  When newly acquired Andre Iguodala went down in the third quarter against the similarly injury-riddled Lakers, Golden State went into a bit of a tailspin, losing that game and five of their next nine.  One of those losses came at home to the Mavericks, and now the Warriors will hope to exact some road revenge.

What Golden State Warrior is poised for a big game?

It may sound obvious, but Steph Curry, who is averaging 30-9 in his last seven games.  Curry is also playing 41.8 minutes a night over that stretch, presumably due to all the injuries the team has dealt with.  It seems like a pretty risky move to make with someone who has a history of ankle problems, but I guess we'll just let Mark Jackson deal with that.

What team stat might determine the game?

Turnover differential.  Dallas beat the Warriors exactly two weeks ago, and a major contributing factor was the 18-6 turnover differential that gave Dallas more possessions to work with.  The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Warriors Monday night with a 15-7 differential.  On the year, the Warriors rank in the bottom five in the league in turnover ratio, while Dallas ranks in the top 10.  Steph Curry can outshoot and out-create just about anybody given equal opportunities.  However, during Curry's seven game hotstreak that I mentioned above, he is also turning the ball over four times a game.  On a micro level, the game may come down to who takes better care of the ball between Curry and former Warrior Monta Ellis(who had his worst shooting night of the season the last time these teams met, and likely hasn't forgotten).

What team stat about Golden State may surprise you?

The Warriors are generally thought of as an offensively explosive, defensively middling squad, but this year they actually rank 7th in defensive efficiency.  Without Iguodala they clearly aren't as strong here, but when he comes back they appear to be a far more complete team than any recent incarnation.